August 17, 2010

Baked Ziti

I forgot to take a picture of this one, but as you can see it was a big hit. This dish is so popular with the hubs that I am absolutely sick of it and have refused to make it again (at least for a few months). However, you should make it because it is quite good. I first discovered this dish while watching an interview between Rachael Ray and Raven Simone. Surprisingly, it is Raven's recipe not Rachael's. However, I have altered it a bit and made it so many times that it is basically my own. This dish is not hard to make at all. It is kind of messy and you have to time everything out well. I have the timing perfected, but if my method is too confusing just do one thing at a time and you will be fine. This is a great recipe to serve for guests, because it feeds so many! I have put the full version on here. It makes a lot! You could reduce it very easily, but I usually just make a full batch and freeze it or give it to someone else.

Baked Ziti
2 jars Spaghetti Sauce with roasted garlic (I use Prego Roasted Garlic & Herb)
1 small onion, chopped
1 1 lb. block of mozzarella cheese (not fresh mozzarella) or 1/2 lb. block and 1/2 lb. shredded
1 box of rigatoni (can also use penne or ziti if desired)
pinch of oregano
pinch of parsley
Salt and pepper to taste (I often don't add it)
butter- optional
First, you will need to chop the onion. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brown the hamburger and onion in a large skillet or saucepot, drain. While this is browning, bring the pasta water to a boil. Once it is boiling cook the pasta as instructed on the package until al dente (or even a little less), drain. Simmer the hamburger/onion mixture with the two jars of sauce for a few minutes (don't rinse out the jars, just set them to the side). Add the parsley, oregano, and salt and pepper). While the pasta is cooking and sauce is simmering, chop 1/2 lb. of cheese into 1/2 inch cubes. Slice the other half into thin slices (unless you are using shredded). Get out your pans. In my experience, this amount of food needs one large 11x14 casserole dish adn one 8x8 dish or two 9x13 dishes. I like to grease the bottom of the pan with butter, but it is not necessary. Put a ladle full of sauce into the bottom of the pan begin layering by adding the pasta and then the cubed cheese. Continue layering, I always try to end with a layer of sauce. No remember those dirty sauce jars? Fill each of them about 1/4 full of water. Shake them up and pour the tomato water over the ziti (mostly on the edges). Cover the dish with sliced or shredded cheese. Sprinkle with oregano and parsley. Basically, you just need to bake this until the cheese is browned and bubbly. You can do it by simply baking for 30 minutes or so or by covering with foil for 30 minutes and then baking for 15-30 minutes more. It turns out the same either way.

No comments:

Post a Comment